– The Sun News

Convention: Don’t zone youth leadership slot to South East, PDP urged

…Insists it’s turn of South-South to be PDP youth leader

From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti

A Niger-Delta activist and member of the 2015 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization, Comr. Prince Afoke Okporua, on Thursday, advised the leadership of the party not zone the party’s youth leadership slot to the southeast region, saying that would amount to committing a fatal political miscalculation capable of threatening the unity of the party.

“I want to state categorically that I disagree with the decision of the Party in Southern Nigeria to zone the position of National Youth Leader to the South-East. It is unacceptable, and totally not in tandem with existing national realities. Late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola said “you can’t shave the head of a man in his absence”

He spoke to reporters, in Ado-Ekiti, during a meeting with youth leaders, saying: ” First, in the zoning history of PDP, a geo-political zone doesn’t hold a position twice when another zone hasn’t produced someone for that office. In this case, Owelle Rochas Okorocha was the pioneer Youth Leader of PDP (1998/99). Why should they get the slot again when the South South hasn’t produced someone?

“South-East can’t get the Vice Presidential ticket of our great party and still be given two key positions in the National Working Committee (NWC), National Organising Secretary and National Youth Leader. What criteria was used to arrive at this formula because when the VP slot was given to the South-South in 2007, the Youth Leader position wasn’t given to our region” , he said.

Okporua, who has been an active and outspoken member among the PDP youth leaders, and supporting zoning the party’s national chairman to South West insisted that, “It is politically suicidal to cocoon a sensitive office of National Youth Leader of the PDP to a zone when times have changed in the country.”

Arguing further, he said: ” the South-South region has kept fate more with the PDP since 1999 more than any geo-political zone. During the last Presidential and gubernatorial elections, we produced more votes, more Governors, more Senators and more Members of the House of Reps, ahead of 2019 it is also glaring that the region will play more significant role in any ramification to return the Party back to power. ”

He likened an attempt to deny his region the youth leadership slot as denying them of their birthright : ” without looking at history and their future” and urgedleaders, elders and stakeholders from the South-South to urgently discuss among themselves, re-negotiate and: ” retrieve to the youths of the region what belongs to us.”

“The task ahead is monumental and there is need to push aside sentiment and all forms of parochialism to rescue the PDP. I call on all PDP Youths from the region to as a matter of dire urgency join in mounting pressure on our leaders so they can restore our political right.

Finally, I want to state that acts of this nature brought PDP to where it is today and denied her peace. Let’s not cause another round of crisis in the Party,” Okporua counseled.


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